As each of us takes a moment to reflect on, and honor, the unmatched legacy of Sen. John McCain, the question I have asked myself is: What will I contribute to our great country?
John McCain's six-plus decades of selfless service to others, and a relentless belief in the exquisite beauty of our nation, is the standard by which we can measure our own contribution. As we look to our individual abilities, resources and opportunities, what will you commit to doing?
Here's mine: Sharing the material from the courses I have taught on politics, campaigns, government and advocacy.
Before you tune out, hear me out.
From the get-go, I have been an outlier; achieving nerd-dom at the tender age of 15. Starting in high school, I have volunteered or interned for campaigns, worked for elected officials and staffed appointed officials in the Midwest and Washington, D.C. My idea of a good night is catching C-SPAN's coverage of a State Dinner, or gubernatorial debate. Visiting every state capitol is on my Bucket List and working my way through a Bill with a highlighter for detailed verbiage is pure bliss. Guilty as charged.
At the ripe age of 40, I started work on a Master's of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA), filling in the knowledge gaps and honing skills learned from observing the best in the business. Between the academic credentials and the lived experience, I loved being able to take my seat at the policy table, albeit in a different chair.
A few years ago, I began teaching public policy as a Teaching Assistant in the Legislative Process course for the same program in which I was a student at Northwestern. Following graduation, I was Adjunct Faculty for Adler University's MPPA program, an occasional substitute for various courses back at Northwestern and later a Lecturer in the Politics Department at Lake Forest College, my alma mater.
I adore teaching, specifically, translating theory into practice and helping students understand how decisions made impact their lives every day. My goal is for each student to make the connection between the laws and regulations that govern their actions, and limit or allow their behavior, to a structured system of governing bodies with individuals determining everything from the rate of interest on their student loans and legal drinking age (they really pay close attention on that one), and how to be part of the process.
What I can contributed to America's greatness to help educate the electorate. An informed citizenry is the foundation of our democratic republic and when we know better, we do better. My hope is that through a better sense of the WHY and the HOW of the process, we can regain some sense of what Sen. McCain has called upon us to do. Let's listen through informed ears, respond with an enlightened mind and engage with a mutual love for our nation.
So, in keeping with the classroom conversations, I will share my course material with you, complete with reading assignments and links to videos which augment the material. You'll also see my take on what it means to you, what it's important and what you can do about it.
Look for one public policy nugget at a time. It will be FUN (think School House Rock), informative (think text alerts) and hopefully, keep you coming back.
As we head into the final months of this election year, there's no better time to check out the Straight Talk Series, named in honor of Sen. McCain's campaign bus, coming soon.
See you at the polls!
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